The Story Behind the Shoes That Look Like Santa Claus’ Beard

The Jones Buckle mules by Icelandic brand Kalda are not officially out yet — they are a spring 2017 style — but they’re already making a splash. The white shoes with a large silver metal buckle and unruly lamb’s fur look strikingly similar to Santa Claus’ beard, but that’s not what designer Katrin Alda intended.

“I grew up in a small town in the north of Iceland and wanted to use elements from nature in the shoes; that’s where the lamb fur idea came about,” she said, adding that high-heeled mules worked well with the abundant fur.

Taking it a bit further, she explains, the shoes are about opposite elements: “the extreme darkness in the winter versus the never-ending daylight in the summertime. I worked to combine those two factors in the design process.”

Kalda Jones Buckle Mule

Much to the disapproval of PETA and animal rights activists worldwide, 2016 was the year of hairy footwear, as the Gucci fur-lined mules took over the streets of Milan during fashion week for the spring 2017 women’s shows. But for Alda, it wasn’t about being on trend. “Fur is always big in Iceland, as it’s so cold here,” she said.

While only a limited-edition selection of the Jones Buckle mules have already been selling at Kalda’s store in Reykjavik, they’ve been moving fast. “I was actually surprised by how well they have been received, as they are not very commercial,” she said. “But that’s the great thing about shoes: You can go as crazy as you want, and there will always be a certain group of women who appreciate it.”

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